$100k Working in Retail

Crab Chiggins's picture
Rank: Baboon | 155

If you graduate college and get a job as an assistant manager at a major retail outlet, you earn close to $60,000. If you advance to a Store Manager, probably after 5-7 years, you can earn close to $120,000. For driven students, this is probably pretty easy, because not many "top students" apply for these jobs, so it's easy to outperform your peers. Why are people busting their asses in finance roles that aren't IB when they can just take the easy road and make six figures?

Comments (62)

May 6, 2020

I looked into investing into a QSR franchise a while ago, one of the big ones. Looked into payroll expenses and realized that a manager of a fast food joint makes 120K. My jaw dropped.

inc com/bill-murphy-jr/managers-at-in-n-out-burger-make-160000-a-year-heres-how-it-works.html

Depending on the area you live in, you don't necessarily have to go to college to make six figures.

The question you have to ask is, does going to college give you the opportunity to make significantly more than just six figures and would that kind of job be more fulfilling to you? Are there other benefits than just money?

May 6, 2020

Even though In N Out is technically fast food, their standards are much higher than that. Getting a job at In N Out is super competitive and usually requires not only knowing someone that currently works there to vouch for you, but then you have to be a very solid individual and great fit to get the job. It's very easy to get fired from there. If a customer reports you there they take it seriously.

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May 6, 2020

I totally agree and that is why I mentioned them as an example. Jobs outside of traditional careers we discuss here can be very competitive and lucrative.

  • Analyst 3+ in AM - Other
May 7, 2020
Incoming <abbr title=Chartered Financial Analyst>cfa</abbr> level 1 charterholder:

Even though In N Out is technically fast food, their standards are much higher than that. Getting a job at In N Out is super competitive and usually requires not only knowing someone that currently works there to vouch for you, but then you have to be a very solid individual and great fit to get the job. It's very easy to get fired from there. If a customer reports you there they take it seriously.

Former In-N-Out manager here. Richest friend I know (not including acquaintances / coworkers in finance obviously) still works for the company and makes 400-500k as a division manager (7-10 stores). Agreed with the hiring process...we used to get a lot of applications every week and for the most part you only got hired if you knew someone that worked there already. As for the customer complaints...they take it very seriously and will definitely investigate.

  • Associate 2 in HF - Other
May 6, 2020

ain't nobody busting they asses in finance to make six figures. all about that dream. 20 bucks a year etc.

Most Helpful
May 6, 2020

Anyone asking this question has clearly never worked in retail.

I worked retail part time job in college. $120,000 isn't enough.

    • 13
May 6, 2020

Really? Why not?

Funniest
May 6, 2020

Karens...

Karens everywhere!

    • 4
May 7, 2020

No intellectual challenge, feelings of being in control of your life, hours are shit, nobody really wants to work there, everyone is flaky, you're more of a babysitter than manager, there's no thanks or feelings of accomplishments (no Deals), you're barely learning any skills, there's no prestige, it's hard to go to corporate, you're having to move around a lot, you're just constantly dealing with problems that are typically caused by other people, typically there's no equity afaik, the people you work with are all uneducated and make THE WORST life decisions on a consistent basis.

Other than that, I suppose it can be alright.

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May 7, 2020

they work you like a fucking dog too, when i was working at staples my manager was probably close to 100k but he was putting in 80 hour weeks

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May 6, 2020

Yeah these jobs can pay pretty well but they blow. Have a family member who went this path for a while, restaurant management, and left for an office job with less money because standing all day and dealing with that many customers wasn't worth it.

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 6, 2020

I'd go as far to say that some of them deserve that much money. Especially managers.

This is coming from someone who worked at Nike at one the biggest malls in the US during holiday seasons.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 6, 2020

People not in IB include RE, PE, HF, AM who can easily triple or quadruple that in 3 years. Not sure why you think people In finance only care about making a fixed salary when some of them grew up poor and have the inherit desire to make FU money or they want to be to the next Henry Kravis, Jamie Dimon, Sam Zell, Warren Buffet or maybe they actually enjoy what they do and don't ever want to leave the space. I dislike this question because it assumes a black and white answer which is not possible given the various roles and personalities in finance. Lastly nothing good ever came easy, this whole forum is filled with driven people in various spaces who would be perceived as insane to work long hours and prioritize the ability to accumulate wealth instead of a work life balance but it is seen as normal and a right of passage to do this in order to achieve the long term goal.

May 6, 2020

On a similar note: Chipotle have really nailed the whole internal leadership development thing with their "restaurateur" program. Could theoretically go from low-wage hourly worker to $100k in a couple of years - all without any college degree. Do well there and you could hit Director overseeing several restaurants with a comp package typical to that of an F500 Director.

https://qz.com/183224/how-chipotle-transformed-its...
Edit: to answer your Q - not everyone wants to do the whole service industry thing. Most people would rather not have to deal with the general public (and their entitled attitudes) as a GM of a service biz. Imagine how many times people ask to speak to "the manager"; if you were GM that = you. There's a lot to be said about having a cushy office job dicking around on excel and ppt, going to (more than likely useless) meetings and not having to feed some UMC housewife's egotistic sense of self.

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May 6, 2020

Right, and here's the point I'm making. Most people working at fast food restaurants are not very qualified individuals. So for an ambitious person, it's a shoe-in, almost guaranteed to outperform them all

May 6, 2020

True, but have you ever worked at a restaurant or retail store?

It would make just about any office job feel like a luxury. At office jobs, you forgot to appreciate the small perks.

In these retail jobs, you literally can't look at your phone for 30 seconds, or take a coffee break, etc. The working conditions just aren't very dignified, IMO.

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May 6, 2020

I edited my response with why not everyone would be interested in taking up the opp even if the financial side looked appealing.

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  • Intern in CorpDev
May 6, 2020

From my experience working in retail, the higher level management roles are usually given based on seniority, so the lifer will be prioritized over some high performing person with 5-7 years of experience. The team leaders and such when I worked in retail usually had 20+ years of experience.

May 7, 2020

No - the team leaders have 20+ years of experience because corporate wont promote you to manager without a college degree. So there are literally 21 year old Becky's majoring in marketing who graduate and become entry level managers at these stores

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
May 6, 2020

exit ops lol

May 6, 2020

Managers at taco bell are getting $100k+ apparently
pretty wild tbh

  • CEO in Other
May 6, 2020

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May 6, 2020

I started on cleanup just like you guys. But now? See, I'm washing lettuce. Soon I'll be on fries! Then the grill. A year or two, I make assistant manager. And that's when the big bucks start rolling in.

May 6, 2020

Ex- In-n-Out employee here, ask myself anything

May 6, 2020

I am not sure why you would think that the only people in finance making a lot of money are those who work in IB

  • Incoming Analyst in S&T - Other
May 7, 2020

Why are you a partner in PE?

    • 1
May 7, 2020

Yes you can do 100k+ in retail type careers. It is not an easy job through and through. I did not work in a classic retail job, but a GM for a large fit chain with 100k-140k yearly based on performance of the business. The optics of the job are the same/similar: very high pressure job with long hours including weekends. Pressure to meet revenue goals daily/weekly/monthly in addition to daily customer service and employee relations. Constant reporting of hourly metrics and sales. So yeah good pay because it is earned, not easily earned.

May 7, 2020

These posts are hilarious. Since fucking when have college educated graduates 5-7 years out of college not made 100-120k? How is that news to you? Slightly average to above average level of drive, support, and social IQ = 100-120k. How about all the skilled laborers that don't require degrees but rake in awesome pay checks? Ever hear of them?

You seem genuinely baffled, so I will share some of the roles that my "hometown buddies" in the daily groupchat have and what they make (all 5-7 yrs out).

Degree dudes:
1 B4 accountant ~$150k
1 senior accountant (regional waste co.) ~$100K
1 retail sales manager ~$110k
1 medical sales rep ~$120k
1 pharma quality control ~$100k
1 high-end lighting sales rep ~$100k
1 insurance underwriter ~$120k
1 mortgage underwriter ~$120k

Non-degree dudes:
1 high voltage lineman ~$160k (crazy OT rates)
1 Used car/parts business owner ~$150k
1 union electrician ~$100k

Left off the lawyer/doctor/IB guys for given reasons. Big ol world out there. Lots of cool shit going on and plenty of ways to make a living.

    • 8
May 7, 2020

It's our own god damn fault. Now that junior summer recruiting happens in fucking February of your sophomore year (before you've even laid eyes on a boutique pitchbook), and the only people who have thought our their career plan 3 years ahead are the tunnel-vision, book-smart street-dumb hardos who meme about target high schools, the junior IB ranks are filled to the brim with elitist, patronizing, self-obsessed, pencil-neck, unmotivated, undisciplined, uncaring, self-parodying losers that belittle virtually all of humanity.

We fucking deserve it by racing to the bottom to snatch up all those choice target school students first before they've had a chance to interview elsewhere and actually be able to make an informed decision. Now we caught them and have to eat them, those big mouth bass fish flapping their fat jowls on Twitter and kicking downward onto their fucking classmates who went to banks subjectively ranked lower. Fuck most people in this industry but it's our fucking fault for recruiting them and enabling this behavior. Yeah this goes for MBA Associates, too.

    • 5
May 7, 2020

Facts. Tunnel visioned with a healthy dose of shelter and security.

The crazy part about all of those gigs I listed... Not a single one is based in NYC. Most owned homes by their second year out of college. All are scattered throughout PA/NY/NJ. All are great companies that our sell side bosses would bend over to serve. Apparently the "American Dream" and higher education providing opportunity are new concepts. Mind blowing.

One day they will pick their head up and listen to their buddies/classmates when they talk. Takes a dose of reality, self-awareness, and maturity to digest that every business has a FO and revenue generating employees with value. On second thought, probably not...

    • 3
May 7, 2020

Nature of the work, isn't it? The stuff in Finance that's really hard to do from an intellectual point, like quant fin and some weird tax/accounting magic bullshit, attracts of course really smart people with actual skill and determination and repels the others who are just in it for shits and giggles and Preftige. Opposite to "classic" IB, which requires just good social skills, resistance to fatigue and a healthy knowledge of Microsoft Office. And who's gonna have those skills? Of course the spoiled upper-middle class kids who were the smartest on their high school in Bumblefuck, Anywhere and consider themselves little Henry Kravises because they can transfer a balance sheet to Excel and plan their life more than 6 months ahead.

Vincet Voluntas - Will shall win

May 7, 2020

A Big 4 accountant with 5-7 years of experience is making $150k? I'm skeptical of that claim. I could be wrong, but that seems wildly high. KPMG's average accountant comp 5 years out is about $106,000, for example.

May 7, 2020

I am really not here to split hairs and debate B4 accounting comp. I don't really know enough and I don't really care. I threw the "~" in there to account for some of the "I haven't seen a tax return" bias. He is a straight shooter, so no real reason to doubt his all in $$ during times we have talked shop.

Definitely not "wildly off." (I guess 50k is wild?) My sniff test was as follows: Manager level with CPA/CFA designations. Add in negotiating leverage and bonus variability at the 5-7 year mark in your career. Plus top performer and solid senior/mentor level support = Reasonable $$. It just comes down to being level-ish from here on out unless he sticks around until partner.

The 5 yr mark you chose is probably skewed to senior associate level comps (2.5 at associate and another 3-4 at senior associate)? Which would be closer to the ~$100k number (sourced from a few UG friends).

FWIW, online comp numbers haven't matched up a single time in my career experiences.

    • 2
May 7, 2020
ChuckieSullivan:

These posts are hilarious. Since fucking when have college educated graduates 5-7 years out of college not made 100-120k? How is that news to you? Slightly average to above average level of drive, support, and social IQ = 100-120k. How about all the skilled laborers that don't require degrees but rake in awesome pay checks? Ever hear of them?

You seem genuinely baffled, so I will share some of the roles that my "hometown buddies" in the daily groupchat have and what they make (all 5-7 yrs out).

Degree dudes:
1 B4 accountant ~$150k
1 senior accountant (regional waste co.) ~$100K
1 retail sales manager ~$110k
1 medical sales rep ~$120k
1 pharma quality control ~$100k
1 high-end lighting sales rep ~$100k
1 insurance underwriter ~$120k
1 mortgage underwriter ~$120k

Non-degree dudes:
1 high voltage lineman ~$160k (crazy OT rates)
1 Used car/parts business owner ~$150k
1 union electrician ~$100k

Left off the lawyer/doctor/IB guys for given reasons. Big ol world out there. Lots of cool shit going on and plenty of ways to make a living.

very bizarre imo that you and all your hometown bros compare salaries

Array

    • 2
May 7, 2020

Love the "very bizarre" response. Such an overused and condescending lead.

Don't over think it. We measure our d size every chance we get, but could care less about salaries at this point. In between the desperate need to instantly blackout upon reuniting we occasionally shoot the shit like adults who are 5-7 years removed from college and have stopped caring about prestige.

Smokes cig outside of bar before Thanksgiving:
Me: "Yo man, what's the good word? Last time we chatted seriously you were switching gigs and joining XYZ firm. How did that end up?"

Ex. Response #1: "Good man, just got promoted, been a year and a half now. Trying to close on that house, so the new manager title and bump to 135k was huge. Glad I left the old gig with the cost of this new f'n house my hot wife wanted"

Ex. Response #2: "Idk, it was the right choice at the time, but I don't think it will be long term. I left for that 20% raise we were talking about. Obviously the cash is nice, but I think I want to branch out on my own."

Just dudes being dudes and shooting the breeze. Love hearing what the guys are up to and "talking shop" from time to time in between fantasy football arguments.

    • 2
May 7, 2020

Where the heck was your hometown? These are salaries I would expect college buddies to makes, but my hometown buddies have wildly different salaries.

May 7, 2020

I think you are misreading / could have been more clear. Hometown buddies with college degrees now scattered across PA/NY/NJ. The only reason I phrased it this way was because I wouldn't have reasonably estimated comp #s on the average college friend (less contact) vs. the guys who go all the way back to HS and continue to banter in the groupchat/see on the holidays.

"Non-NYC PA/NY/NJ" think Conshy/Berwyn PA, Lehigh Valley (PA), Albany NY, Central NJ etc.

    • 1
May 7, 2020

A Master craftsman (e.g. electrician, mason, the guys who do concrete and steel, etc.) with his own firm and decent network can easily break through 250.000EU and many of them make even more. Granted, it's a lifetime of hard work, but combine that with some business sense, and you leave every "hardo" in the dust.

Vincet Voluntas - Will shall win

May 7, 2020

I saw some civil service electrical engineers in New York earned more than the police commissioner lol

May 7, 2020

^this

I worked for a commercial truck OEM once. we interviewed clients who had very small companies. they all cleared more than 200K a year.

May 7, 2020

This is one of the stupidest posts I've read so let me just give my two cents:

1) If you are passionate about finance you will naturally enjoy doing work in financial services- whether corporate finance, IB, ER, RE, etc etc.

2) The intrinsic value of the work you do with a college degree is usually much greater than that you would do without one

3) If all we want to talk about is salary here goes..
Entry Level:
Store Asst Manager: capped at 60K, likely way less for anything but a well known or "socially responsible" chain

IB: First year analysts make anywhere from 85-160K all in, third year analysts making up to 200K total comp (slightly less at MM or non-financial centers)

ER: First year associates make 65-140K all in, by the time you're name is getting put on analyst reports as the lead associate you're making 140-180K (slightly more in major financial centers)

AM: Not as high paying as IB and ER but you're still making 80-120K easy at a good firm. Also arguably the most interesting work of IB,ER,AM etc.

PE: Making well into six figures within a couple of years. Do well in IB and you'll have excellent exit ops into PE, likely making seven figures by the time you start a family

HF: ER has excellent exit ops here, potential to be making 400-600K by the time you're 30 and seven figures by mid-40s

These are just a few jobs in financial services where you can make more than your retail store manager after only a couple of years. Corporate finance jobs right out of college also don't pay as much to start but they def pay 60-80K for any good B school graduate. Rise up the ranks and you're making comfortable living on 150K+. Corp finance is also interesting.

Just my 2 cents.

    • 1
May 7, 2020

Why? Because your starting comp at a top AM / IB / HF is at least 120k and you can scale to 400k within 5yrs and then to 1ml or more after that. Your looking too much at NT vs. upside potential. Also much more intellectually rewarding to do one of these roles

May 7, 2020

I have a family member who was an Apple store manager for 10+ years. The pay was $100k+ all-in but the major catch was the lifestyle absolutely sucked. No vacation allowed during holiday season, irregular schedule and hours, a ton of restriction on time off, etc. And of course the worst thing of all: dealing with the general public every day. Yes making store revenue quotas was easy and the bonuses were high for retail but at the end of the day it's still retail even if you're a manager.

May 7, 2020

As someone that worked in retail for several years, are we living in the same world?

This isn't the '90s, back then you could go work at a cell phone carrier retail store and make $100k+ in 90s dollars as a top seller, that same job pays $55k in 2020 dollars. We're in a likely situation where 9/10 department stores won't exist in 2030.

Would you take a job in an industry that has been going through deep contraction for 10+ years now and there is no end in sight?

    • 1
  • Intern in Other
May 10, 2020

Yes. Most fields in finance are contracting, particularly those related to investment: ER, S&T, AM, and HF. IBD isn't exactly flourishing either. Headcount has been stagnate for pretty much two decades. We're almost as fucked as they are.

May 11, 2020

At least with IBD, HF, and ER you can go work at a F1000 and still make very good money if your job gets eliminated. What do retail store managers do?

May 8, 2020

Retail food service sucks from every angle. I remember when I was working part-time in my school's dining hall, I always wondered how the full-timers worked 60-80hr weeks without shooting themselves lol. If you want an really easy job that pays more than enough, my parent's accountant makes 350-400k just through his sheer volume of accounts. He only works a small part of the year (from his house) and he brought his son into the practice too. This dude literally messed up my parent's taxes so much that we had been paying NYC taxes even though we had moved to the suburbs 10 yrs ago lol. You just need to build up clients in that type of business (which is hard so you probably need a few yrs experience out of college in something reputable sounding) and then you really don't have to worry about finances and long hours for the rest of your life.

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May 8, 2020

Not the best niche to tie your future to IMO. Almost every regional firm in the country is divesting from personal income tax preparation as that niche is being eaten up by TurboTax. Accounting is insanely boring (I work in it), but the pay isn't too bad. The partner I work under likely makes 600-800k and works 45-50 hrs a week except for Jan-March its 60-65 hours a week.

Big 4 audit/tax senior partners can hit 7 figures in a good year but their work/life balance sucks in comparison.

May 10, 2020

Yeah that's a good point. I dunno why my parents and others use him instead of turbotax. Their tax situation is really simple. I feel like a lot of industries still exist because people are just reluctant to change what they've always been doing.

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Jun 15, 2020

When I was in college, I worked a simple job that does not require a degree, and it paid $187,000 per year on a full-time basis. But since I was working part-time while going to school, I made only a portion of that amount. This goes to say that people in relatively simple jobs outside of finance could easily make 6 figures.

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Jun 15, 2020
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Jun 15, 2020
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Jun 22, 2020